There is an inkling that Keong Siak Street is going to be a mini-Lan Kwai Fong of sorts, with the opening of many restaurants and café from Neon Pigeon, Lollapalooza, and Banana Tree in a space of less than a month.
Neon Pigeon seemed promising, reminding me of those certain types of hipster social houses from Hong Kong, in particular Yardbird – because they both served modern Japanese Izakaya style food and feature fowls in their names.
The mood was a fit for both after-work drinks and even sit-down dates, as the interior was cleverly divided into invisible sections, had good energy matched with a lively atmosphere. Yet, it would be too noisy to hold a conversation.
Australian chef Justin Hammond who was previously from Gingerboy in Melbourne, helmed the kitchen.
The menu was divided into Birdfeed (tapas sized starters), Miso Soup, Vegetables, Seafood, Meat & Poultry and Rice. Price range from $8 to $18 for a single portion, and an ordering guide would be 6-8 small plates for 2 pax.
Portions were small, but the taste was of quality. Okay, perhaps most items were on the saltier side.
We liked the Slow Cooked Octopus ($18) with cauliflower puree and shichimi best, considering that I am not usually a fan of tentacles. The octopus had charred crispy texture on the edges, the right amount of chewiness, and lovely smoky flavour.
Service staff was prompt and knowledgeable, and we were recommended the Tsukune Slides ($10) and Crispy Brussel Sprouts and mirin glazed bacon ($12) dipped in enjoyable karashi mustard. Both were good choices.
The let-down was the Hokkaido Buttered Corn ($8), small in portion and serving (therefore turning colder much easily) and taste geared towards an ordinary miso soup.
The challenge for small plates bars like Neon Pigeon is that they have to keep reinventing themselves, especially in its food offerings because the next best new thing would always come along in a manner of months.
In the meantime, this could be the next best new thing.
1 Keong Saik Street, #01-03 Singapore 089109
Opening Hours: 6pm – 12am (Mon-Sat)
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